It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
It seems like many of us are going through quite a tough time. It’s as if the universe if forcing us to clean out our closets that have been the keeper of trauma, pain, secrets, lies and general unhappiness for most of our lives. While in theory, this sounds like a wonderful idea, in practice it is actually quite painful.
I was going through quite a terrible time in the last few months, where the anxiety and depression was at its worst. I was terrified of the thoughts running through my head and even more terrified of what I was going to do about it. There was so much “stuff” coming to the surface, I feared I could not handle it.
Thankfully with the help of my faith and a very good therapist, I was able to navigate the waters of adversity landing safely on the shore. While I felt as thought I’d gone twelve rounds in a boxing ring with Tyson, when it was all said and done, here is what I learned.
YOU DO MATTER
No matter what has happened to you in your life, no matter how traumatic it may have been, know this: YOU DO MATTER. Your thoughts matter, your opinion matters, your dreams and wishes matter, your LIFE matters. Being victims of trauma can make us feel we are not worthy but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. If you are feeling worthless, lost and completely alone, please know that this is not the reality of who you are. You do matter not only to many people in your immediate circle of human connections but also to the divine.
YOU ARE SO LOVED
At a particularly devastating time in my life when I was suffering from panic/anxiety disorder and my world was becoming increasingly smaller, I remember one night during a thunderstorm, I had an experience I would never forget.
I was alone in bed in our studio apartment in Manhattan. My now husband was out with some friends and wasn’t due back until late. I can’t begin to tell you how terrified I was of being alone, even in my home. I sat in bed crying, letting all the fear drip out of my eyeballs. When my adrenals had finally succumbed to their last hormonal surge I laid down to sleep. Right before I fell asleep in that space between, I heard a voice. A female voice, loud and clear like I would be talking to any human.
She said, “Angelique, you are so loved.”
While I was a bit frightened by the idea of hearing voices, there was something so comforting about this voice it didn’t even occur to me to mind, I drifted off to sleep without a care in the world.
Most of us who have damage from trauma inherently feel as though we are constantly needing the approval of others. This leads to feelings of doubt, depression and an overall sense of disappointment, as we cannot possibly be all things to all people all the time. But what if I told you, the power that animates you, the co-creator energy, god, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad, (however you see the divine) is the only thing that matters. That is the only approval you’ll ever need and you already have it. When you can really tap into that energy (which is always available) things will become crystal clear. You do not need the approval of anyone, because you are already so loved.
CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS, CHANGE YOUR LIFE
You’ve probably heard or read about this idea that you can literally rewire your brain. While I was skeptical at first, after months of putting theory into practice, I can honestly say it works. There is actually so much science behind this that it wouldn’t be fair to call it a theory. There is actual proof that our brains can create new pathways based on correction of thoughts and beliefs and it really does work!
Now here is the part no one likes to hear, it takes A LOT of work on your part to thought correct. It means taking in every thought you have that doesn’t serve your wellbeing and replacing it with a positive one that does. This can seem like a daunting task, especially if you are inherently negative, but here is the good news; while it is a lot of work and can sometimes seem like it will never change when you finally do notice the results, your life as you know it will never be the same, and that is a great thing. Just remember that any positive system will take a little time before your emotions connect to the new belief. But once the new programs kick in, look out world, here you come!
Have compassion for yourself and for others as we are all traveling the road of life together. Remember that when we go through great struggles or adversities in our lives, they are there to help us grow, and as we evolve, we help others to do the same. So many of the greatest stories ever told came from those who overcame insurmountable obstacles to achieve their goals. They’ve inspired us as we will inspire those who will come after us. It is in the most perilous times that we find out who we really are, and if we look deep within, through the eyes of love, we will find that we really do matter.